Public Relations Feed

Public Relations Strategy - Influencer and Social Media Marketing

Public relations strategy is the topic on the "Cover Story" podcast hosted by Brandy Shapiro-Babin is a great way to enhance your understanding of contemporary public relations.  A recent interview with  Michael Smith, whose background includes Edelman and Euro RSCG, includes his role on the Obama Presidential campaign and the tactics used to get out the vote.

Here are some of the tips outlined in the podcast:

Learn Saul Alinsky community organizing tactics: Refute the opposition while still making your case.  Find commonality among a group and build on that.

Develop publics for your campaign and touch people that are big networkers:  Need to create a community base and then move from there.

Big networkers lead to scale:  Appealing to individuals one at a time does not scale.  It's better to target the preacher than the congregation.   It's what Mike Smith learned about creating a community base and moving from there.

Tell the consumer that they matter and their opinion matters:  Message of the day, slogan of the day help to focus the conversation and amplify the message by getting eveyrone on the same page.

Use Twitter, social media to get response:  Create a cause and give people an opportunity to respond and lend voice to the movement.

The voice of the "campaign" needs to be in the voice of the person, not a ghost writer:  The community shoudl be self governing and decide what is correct or wrong. You need to react and respond or else the diaglog is seen as window dressing.

Use web tools to create mass personalization:
  Ask your customers for their story and what they liked and disliked.

On another podcast public relations strategy was discussed as it related to business to business marketing.

The podcast focused  featured Influencer 50 Marketing Director Nick Hayes, who talked about how he uses PR as the foundation for his marketing strategies. 

Nick discussed the role of the Influencer in business markets and how this role has changed.  It was traditionally a jouranlist or business analyst, someone that was paid to comment on the industry.  Public relations strategy was centered around promotion to those journalists and analysts.  While these individuals are important, the breadth of influencer is now segmented out to multiple influencers - up to 21 catagories.  Each should have a specific communciations strategy.  Segments include:

  • Management Consultants

  • Procurement Groups
  • Industry Regulators
  • Online Forums
  • Select Bloggers

An understanding is needed as to where to people go for information and what will drive them to the place where the message is located.  Messages are the start of a conversation that requires a give and take between target and company. 

He urged companies to see sales guys as the people that sell.  Marketing people should be the ones that intiate the relationships that sales people close. 

The Public Relations Plop Factor

The cover story in PR Week is on web 2.0 and the client's drive to digital communications.  David Almacy   quoted Pam Edstrom from PR firm Waggener Edstrom who said that  "the challenge with multimedia digital is that there's no plop factor."  When the Wall Street Journal lands on the CEOs desk it goes Plop.  Blog posts do not.

The solution is to educate the "C" suite when high credibility individuals mention your brand in their blog.  More work, but a pretty good plop.

Broken China

Great article by Denny Hatch on the Public Relations debacle being orchestrated by China.  Chinese products have been accused of poisoning our pets and our children via lead paint.  How is it possible that a country with so much invested in commerce is not using crisis management techniques to manage its reputation?   From a PR perspective they are committing malpractice.  From an ethics perspective they are doing the same.

The Public Relations Content War

I'm engaged in a public relations war where the enemy is known, the artillery is content and to the victor goes traffic and revenue.  Judy Shapiro from Comodo was nice enough to compare notes with me on approaches to content and public relations strategy.

What I learned is that there are new tools from Google such as Google Trends that aid measurement of both search activity and PR activity in comparison to competitors/companies you are benchmarking against.  The tool identifies causes of PR spikes and does it over time.  The tool isn't perfect since it is difficult to break out a division from a parent company (eg; FedExKinkos vs. Kinkos), but it is a great starting place.

I'm excited about this since it shows that we are just scratching the surface when it comes to public relations.  Hats off once again to Google and their initiative to bring together all forms of communication and media measurement.